Ofsted plans changes to teacher training provider assessments


Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman has revealed planned changes to the focus of teacher training provider inspections.

The regulator will now focus more on the curriculum being delivered while moving away from checks that are driven by performance data.

Ms Spielman’s commentary details how the initial teacher education (ITE) framework will be altered to bring it in line with the revamped education inspection framework that is used in schools, which has a distinct curricular focus.

She also suggests that the focus on data could be masking strengths and weaknesses within some training providers, which is why change is needed.

Now Ofsted is set to research methodology options relating to how the quality of teacher training curriculums can be measured.

Ms Spielman said the ITE framework “places a lot of emphasis on data”, including completion rates and employment rates from courses, which may not provide the full picture.

“Consequently, inspectors have put relatively little weight on what trainees are taught or how well the centre-based and school-based training is combined into a coherent package of learning,” she explained.

“The reliance on other outcome measures may, therefore, cover up some kinds of weakness across partnerships, or even mask strengths.”

The commentary from the chief inspector also detailed the need for research into the development of the initial teacher training curriculum, to ensure that all trainees receive adequate training.

A literature review by staff at Sheffield Hallam University has identified key areas that should be included in any curriculum for ITE programmes.

Ms Spielman said that it can be tough for training providers to cover all of the necessary requirements in a single year of training, although there is a need to ensure that potential teachers are given guidance on what to expect.

This could relate to best practice when dealing with pupils with special educational needs and disabilities, putting theory into practice or detailing effective means of communication, for example.

The new teacher training inspection framework is set to be introduced in September 2020.

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